Observing (A)trophy Life - Celebrating Our Luxury of Social, Personal and Political Addiction, curated by Camille Rose Shortridge
Opening Reception: June 18th, 2016, 7pm - 11pm
Exhibition: June 18th - July 16th, 2016
David Freeman is an artist from McAllen, Texas who explores immigration, border issues and the war on drugs. He has been featured in The New York Times as a prevalent artist pushing social-political work beyond "border nations".
Observing (A)trophy Life - Celebrating Our Luxury of Social, Personal and Political Addiction is an exploration of the system of complexities found in border-nations and beyond. David Freeman creates a satirically ceremonial celebration of our populations' luxurious addictions, many of which are contradictory. Through his Trophy series, he juxtaposes the existence of drug cartels and our participation in it's survival due to our own personal addictions. His origins have thus profoundly influenced his art as he creates a context and platform for discussion on prevalent national issues. Leon will be exhibiting Freeman's series of drug cartel inspired mixed-media trophies, life sized piñatas in the image of border patrol guards and refugees, and colorful border travel photographs.
David Freeman's origins have profoundly influenced his art, as he observes that there exists a living presence of a blending of cultures and ethnicity in south Texas. His work depicts a truth within our society, which we are either not aware of, or, choose to ignore. That is one of greed, and luxury, within our personal, social and political lives. He does this ironically by creating grandiose trophies, painting them completely in gold and adorning them with such cultural and drug cartel related icons as skulls, weapons and patron saints. The appearance of luxury hides the ugly and dangerous system within which allows for the possessions of luxury to thrive. In Freeman's art, this luxury is the possession of drugs, which allows the drug cartel to continue producing and working, habitually with violent consequences.
Trophies are celebrations of victory; they are mementos to some achievement or success. My trophies, an accumulated assemblage of token trophy styles are embellished with symbols and objects collected from flea markets and yard sales in Mexico and Texas. These trophies embrace the mirroring of a reliquary concept but multi task as an acknowledgment of something that has been won in battle too. They celebrate the dark side of victory and speak of a horrific time and event that exists in my backyard. One of violence that is acted out purely to impress others in the basest acts of terrorism, the Narco- terror campaign in Mexico.
This work thus represents a system of contradictions of the identities of good and bad battling one another. These truths are mirrored in juxtapositions of contradiction. The first being the utilization of a plastic commercial process such as a trophy as a medium of fine art, full of devised icons of instant recognition and communication, presented in a lowbrow process. The second being that there exists a living presence and blending of cultures and ethnicity in south Texas, yet we seem so indifferent to what is happening in Mexico. I aim to overcome the wave of mediocrity I find in American activism today and inspire a self awareness and allegiance toward a civil revitalizing force, if by no other means but through the message of a Trophy artwork.
About the Artist:
David Freeman is an artist from McAllen, Texas who works in photographypainting and mixed media sculptures. He has exhibited at the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen, TX, and has had two solo-exhibitions at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art in Brownsville, TX. He has also completed an artist residency in China where he worked heavily in ceramics. Due to his engagement within the art community both nationally and internationally, he has been featured in The New York Times as a prevalent artist pushing his political work beyond Texas and the border-nation. Visit his work at davidmfreemanart.com